Recipe: Soybean Milk

~ This is Day 85 ~

NYC just re-opened today: construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade & retail for pickup with some restrictions. More info: nyc.gov/coronavirus. Outside my street looks almost entirely normal, like from before quarantine; the street is bustling with delivery trucks, there’s a lot more traffic up and down, and there are people everywhere, however not all with masks on.

I thought during the past three months I would have done more food projects at home but instead, I found myself loathing to cook for myself. I have been cooking and making a lot of Chinese comfort food, mostly things I ate or drank as a child.

We usually had homemade soybean milk during the weekends. It’s traditionally a breakfast beverage, eaten with 油條/youtiao (Chinese crullers). My parents like to drink it hot and unseasoned, however my brother and I like it chilled and sweet, and other people like it hot and savory. I made the crullers for the first time last week but they didn’t come out as puffy as I remember so no postings of that any time soon. It’s also quite time consuming so I don’t know when I’m going to tackle that again.

Having a VitaMix definitely helps the process of making homemade soybean milk. Before moving to the U.S., the only soybean milk I had were Chinese-styled. In my mind, Silk products in American grocery stores are not “soybean milk”. To me, they tasted like drinking a liquid that resembled how silk, the fabric, would taste like. Although I love chilled and sweet soybean milk, I’m not going to make this on a regular basis. The worst part of making soybean milk is the constant stirring because the bottom of the pot burns so quickly, and I can’t deal with that.

If you’re feeling up to the challenge, here’s the recipe.

Yields 4 quarts.

  • 2 cups dried soybeans

Begin by washing the dried soybeans three times in cold water. Then soak overnight in the fridge, making sure to cover the soybeans with at least 2 inches of water. Strain and discard soaking water.

In the VitaMix, using 1 cup of beans to 2 cups of water, blend on high until completely combined. Pour and strain into a large pot with a cheesecloth-lined chinois. Bring up to a boil on medium heat. Skim off foam – there’s going to be a lot – and stir constantly to prevent burning. It burns really easily!! Burnt soybean milk just doesn’t taste good – at all!!! Once up to a boil, bring down to a simmer for 8 minutes, continually stirring constantly. Right when it comes up to a boil, it will blow up so you have to be vigilant!!!

Once ready, remove from heat and I like to pass it through a cheese-cloth lined chinois again. Adjust savory/sweet to your liking. Once it cools, it will develop a skin on the top. I like to add a little more water to thin it out a bit but not too much, just a quick splash or two.

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